I have gotten about half of one garden weeded to the point where I can actually distinguish rows. Wooohooo! Well, I do still have the other half and another whole garden to go.....baby steps.
Another thing I can cross off my list that I am especially happy about, is that we got our dust control this week. Perhaps I should explain. We have a gravel road on the west side of our property. If you've ever driven down a gravel road, or driven behind another car on a gravel road, you know that a thick cloud of dust bellows from the tires to the point of obscuring your view. Imagine that dust blowing into your house everyday. We can't open the windows on the north or west sides of the house unless we want enough dust on the kitchen table to grow potatoes.
Here is a photo of said dust.
So, the remedy to this distressing situation is to call our local co-op and order dust control. First they send out the county road trucks to grade the gravel (which was 2 months behind, by the way, because of the poor road conditions after the harsh winter and flooding in the spring), then they send this nifty little truck full of oil that sprays down the road for a specified distance that we mark off by sticking little flags next to the road. We had them spray 400 feet.
And here is the finished product. All for the lovely little price tag of $400 for 2 applications. Problem solved. Yes? Well, yes and no. This process does work wonders for keeping the dust down temporarily. The down side is that they can use several different types of control depending on what is available at the time. Sometimes they use tree sap, which works really well. Another product that they use is calcium chloride, and sometimes a soy bean oil byproduct, the latter is what I think they used this time. Effective? Quite. But it also has a distinct odor to it for the first few days. As my dear niece so aptly put it the other day, "Smells like Kung Pow chicken out here".
Sadly, I no longer have an excuse for having an inch of dust on my furniture.
Anywhoo, I have been waiting for "the dust to settle" so that I might get some of my barns painted. I didn't want to spend all the time and energy painting, only to end up with designer textured barns once the dust deposited itself upon my freshly painted surfaces.
Since the weather has taken a turn for the better, I was able to use some organic insect control on my fruit trees and it looks like my pear trees are going to have a bumper crop.
My flowers are just coming into their full glory. When we bought the house there were several beds of the "standard issue" purple echinacea (cone flowers) that most every farm in Iowa has. I removed a lot of them, but left one section around an old hitching post. Since then I have developed a fondness for the echinaceas and have found several other varieties that I enjoy.
This one is "Pica Bella".
This one is "Pink Double Delight".
Here are some of my Rudibekia (black eyed Susan).
My hydrangeas have really popped this year and are growing wonderfully. I think that they are some of the few plants that have appreciated the cool temps and abundant moisture.
Also a fan of the cool temps and moisture... my hostas. I have almost as many hostas as I have chickens....maybe as many hostas as I have sheep.
"Fire and Ice"
I must apologise for yet another post about chickens. You can blame Michelle for it though. She is always so nice to comment about my chickens, so now I feel like someone is actually interested! I promise this will be the last until they have all grown up and then I can post an update on how they turned out.
When I was ordering my chicks this spring, I initially spoke with Sandhill Preservation about acquiring a few Blue Orpington chicks. B.O.'s (hmmm) are quite hard to find and I love the temperament of the Orps. Sandhill was already sold out for the entire season, but since their farm is only a few miles from me, they put me on a waiting list in case they had extra chicks in any of their hatches this season. Well, since it had been so long and I hadn't heard anything, I assumed that they were not going to have any peepers for me. You know what they say about assuming?
I got a call yesterday, "This is Linda from Sandhill and we have your chicks". OMG.
These are some of the cutest chicks EVER.